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Is Lack of Sleep Pressing Snooze on Your Career?

Topics: Career Advice
lack of sleep
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How many times have you heard a coworker brag about how little sleep they get? At some workplaces, it’s a badge of honor to do without rest. There’s just one problem: not sleeping enough is about the worst thing you can do for your career.

While a few cups of coffee might help you power through the occasional sleepless night, day after day of too little sleep will tank your productivity.

Why You Need More Sleep

Skipping out on Zzz’s does more than make you a little tired the next day. It also affects your ability to do your job.

According to, getting more sleep helps you:

  • Make better decisions
  • Recover from distractions faster
  • Prevent burnout
  • Improve your memory
  • Make fewer mistakes.

Not getting enough sleep leads to the opposite. You can’t be good at your job if you’re easily distracted, committing lots of errors and making terrible decisions.

Insufficient shuteye also stresses you out and can lead to problems like higher blood pressure or even worsening depression.

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Get Some Rest … For Your Career’s Sake

You might think that high-powered executives burn the midnight oil. But that’s not necessarily true.

Entrepreneur Arianna Huffington has dedicated a great deal of her time and effort into dispelling the myth of sleeplessness leading to success. She wrote a book, The Sleep Revolution, and she’s given numerous speeches, including a TED Talk, on the subject:

“I can tell you with authority that when I’m exhausted, when I’m running on empty, I’m the worst version of myself,” said Huffington in a recent CNBC article. “I’m more reactive. I’m less empathetic. I’m less creative. And all of us can testify to that.”

Even Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, who used to work all night, said he realizes he needs a full night’s sleep to be his best creative self.

“I like to get seven hours of sleep a night because that’s what I need to stay sharp and creative and upbeat,” Gates remarked in a Microsoft FAQ.

So while you could just “get by” and burn that candle at both ends for a while, it isn’t going to do your body, mind or your career any favors. Get your sleep and get that brass ring!


How much sleep do you need to be your best self at work? Do you ever get that much? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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